‘Tis the season for clipping! Shellie Sommerson shares tips for a successful clip job.
If you missed part one, “Clipping Tips from a Pro,” check it out here.
Before you clip, take into consideration the temperament of the horse, his and your clipping experience and plan accordingly, so that the operation is positive, confident and stress-free for both of you.
- Introduce yourself by standing on a mounting block without the clippers, then … add the clippers. Don’t stand on a bucket!
- If the clippers have a ‘bracelet,’ use it! Otherwise you could end up dropping the clippers, they then break as your horse steps on them, gets startled, breaks away and the entire day is now a major flop!
- Checking the clipper blades every five or 10 minutes is important so that you don’t burn your horse or frighten him with the heat of the blades.
- When clipping the face or underside of the face, if the halter has a detachable throat-latch clip, don’t allow it to dangle — your horse could lose an eye if he tosses his head.
- If your horse is not comfortable in the crossties, have a helper hold the horse with no attempt at forceful restraint. If the horse pulls back, go with the horse as quietly as possible, then, calmly and patiently, encourage a few forward steps. Be patient, take as much time as is needed for a good outcome. Clipping in the stall can be a solution as your horse may be more relaxed in his stall, and the stall corner may provide some security for your horse. Don’t try to trap/force your horse to stay in a space as this can evoke the flight instinct. Consider having a buddy horse on hand for confidence.
- Check power cords for damage before you start and recognize that they can be scary to the horse as they slither like a snake across the ground! Lay the cords out, far enough so that they will not get stepped on to avoid an electrical shock.
- If you accidentally nick or cut a fold of skin with the clipper blades immediately apply Banixx Horse & Pet Care spray followed by Banixx Wound Care Cream.
- Some exercise prior to the clipping session may be useful since your horse will be more likely stand quietly.
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